Arrietty the Borrower

As you may recall from my latest installment of Anime A to Z, The Borrower Arrietty is one of my favorite Ghibli films. For me, it’s a “classic” from the studio, much like My Neighbor Totoro or Kiki’s Delivery Service. Hayao Miyazaki selected Hiromasa Yonebayashi to make his directorial debut with this adaptation of The Borrowers, and it resulted in a wonderful film.

The sense of scale was captured perfectly. You can tell that you’re watching tiny little people in a human-sized world, rather than normal sized people in a giant-sized world. This is especially apparent when water moves at Arrietty’s scale. The film is also very pretty artistically, and the score by harpist Cécile Corbel fits perfectly with the setting.

And then there’s Arrietty herself. She is one of my overall favorite Ghibli leads. Like many of her predecessors, Arrietty is a determined and adventurous girl trying to forge her own way in the world. But unlike her predecessors, she is only a few centimeters tall!

Below are a few fifteen screenshots of Arrietty from the film. It’s more than I would usually put in a post like this, but she is worth it.

[ Anime A to Z ] ~B~ The Borrower Arrietty

When some people say they are Studio Ghibli fans, they often mean they are Hayao Miyazaki fans, forgetting that Miyazaki is only a part of the studio’s grand legacy. Not to be overlooked are the works of the other directors in the Ghibli house, including the “new generation” that aren’t founders Hayao Miyazaki or Isao Takahata.

One of my favorite Ghibli films is from one of these new directors. Hiromasa Yonebayashi made his Ghibli directorial debut with The Borrower Arrietty in 2010. (He would later go on to direct Ghibli’s most recent film When Marnie Was There, and then become a founder of Studio Ponoc with Mary and the Witch’s Flower.) Based on the book The Borrowers, The Borrower Arrietty is a delightful fantasy with one of my favorite Ghibli leads, the adventurous and determined Arrietty.

With the film’s story overseen and initial screenplay by Hayao Miyazaki, and a wonderful score by harpist Cécile Corbel, The Borrower Arrietty is near the top of my Ghibli favorites list.